If one other driver is to blame for your car or truck accident, you'll probably be able to hire a personal injury attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. Discover when it's worth the cost.
If you've held it's place in a vehicle accident, and it's pretty clear that one other driver was to blame, you will be looking for a plaintiff's car accident lawyer (one who represents the individual filing a personal injury lawsuit, when a case causes it to be to court). But how much do you want to need to pay?
Most car accident attorneys charge because of their services in a reasonably unique way—as opposed to the hourly fee that many firms charge in other forms of cases. The typical car accident lawyer will charge a "contingency fee" to take on an injury case. A contingency fee means that the firm won't receives a commission any attorney's fees until you recover money into your case. The lawyer or law firm are certain to get paid a share of money received from any car insurance settlement or jury verdict (if the case goes all the way to trial).
In this information, we'll take a closer look at how contingency fees work and what you can expect if you determine to hire a lawyer to deal with your car or truck accident case.
The Contingency Percentage
The percentage a personal injury lawyer can receive in a contingency fee agreement varies, but typically ranges from 25 to 40 percent, and 33 percent (or one-third) is pretty standard. So, if you have a 33% contingency fee arrangement and you recover $90,000 in your car or truck accident case, your attorney will receive around $30,000.
A contingency fee percentage can vary greatly depending on whether a personal injury lawsuit has to be filed against one other driver (the defendant). If the case settles before it visits court, the percentage may be on the lower side.
However, if settlement occurs after suit is filed and after the defendant has served an official reply to your complaint—or if the case proceeds to trial and a jury verdict is reached, the attorney's share may increase to 40 percent.
As an example, suppose your lawyer sent a demand letter to one other driver's insurance company in your case, and you quickly reached a settlement for $90,000. In this example, the attorney would again receive $30,000 (33%). However, suppose that the case instead ended in a jury verdict of $90,000 and your agreement (and/or the law in your state) allows the attorney to get 40% of a recovery after the complaint is answered. In this example, the attorney can recover $36,000.
It is obviously vital that you speak along with your attorney concerning the contingency fee and to carefully review your contract for legal services. If you do not understand the fee arrangement as stated in the contract, ask your attorney to spell out it to you.
Also, just like everything in an agreement, the fee is negotiable. If yours is really a "cut and dry" case—fault for the automobile accident and your damages are clear, the defendant has lots of car insurance, and there's ample evidence burning your claims—you are able to certainly negotiate less contingency percentage. You do not need to quit a next of your compensation mainly because you need the leverage of experiencing a lawyer in your side.
Fees and Expenses
Depending on the lawyer and your contract for legal services, you might or might not be responsible for upfront court fees and other litigation expenses, such as the cost of obtaining medical records and police reports, court reporter fees, and expert witness fees.
Many personal injury firms require the client to pay the above-mentioned fees as they become due. If your contract states that you're accountable for these costs, you are able to expect a personal injury firm to call you and seek payment because the fees become due. If you cannot pay these fees, your case will probably not proceed until there is a payment.
Other personal injury firms (typically large firms), will cover all fees and expenses. However, the fees and expenses will undoubtedly be deducted from your settlement or final judgment. Let's say you settled your car or truck accident case for $100,000. This time, your contract stated that costs and expenses will be deducted from the settlement. Your attorney incurred $10,000 in costs and expenses. In this example, your attorney would receive $10,000 as reimbursement for the expenses and expenses, and $30,000 for legal services. You'd wind up receiving $60,000 as a final recovery ($100,000 - $10,000 - $30,000 = $60,000).
Be sure that your lawyer takes their fee from the "net settlement"—that is, the quantity left after case expenses are deducted. This arrangement is typical. However, some law firms may try to boost their pay by taking their money out first. Let them understand that you won't accept that, and when it becomes an offer breaker, it's probably best to get another lawyer.
Other Fee Arrangements
Not totally all cases calls for a natural contingency fee arrangement. Lawyers may collect an original retainer to start your case and also collect a contingency fee at the conclusion of your case. However, if you recover money, the quantity already paid to the attorney must certanly be subtracted from the percentage because of the attorney at the conclusion of the case. For example, if you paid $2,000 to the attorney as a retainer and recover $90,000 in a settlement, the attorney will receive $28,000 from the settlement ($30,000-$2,000 = $28,000).
Most car accident cases won't involve a set fee payment for legal services. Flat fee arrangements are normally reserved for less-complex cases. A law firm may charge a set fee where in fact the legal representation is limited to drafting and answering a demand letter. In that case, the fee may vary from $300 to $1,000.
Is really a Car Accident Lawyer Worth The Cost ?
The overall rule is this: The more serious the injuries, the more the worthiness of hiring a lawyer. If you're in a small fender bender with little if any injuries, you are able to probably negotiate a personal injury settlement with no lawyer. On one other hand, if you're injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the worthiness of your case rises quickly. This means the insurance adjuster works to minimize your damages and try to obtain you to just accept a really low settlement offer—they are in the commercial of making money, not spending it, after all. In that situation, having a skilled lawyer in your side becomes essential.